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Bananas on a Log (2017)
This is a collection of fake bananas found at a thrift store. They appeal to us because they each are crafted to be realistic and on their own they are successful for the most part, but when they are put together the individual characteristics of each banana is highlighted. If each banana is realistic then how could each be so different? Only through the comparison do we even realize how we’ve accepted the faux reality as convincing despite the fact that it isn’t all that convincing after all. It questions what exactly we see as markers of reality.
The bananas are perched on top of a piece of driftwood to play with the ideas of formal sculpture. The shape and movement are beautiful aesthetically. Additionally the relationship between the bananas is played up as they interact with their comrades giving the piece a suggestion of narrative. All that said, they are bananas on a log. And they reference the ducks on a log from "Ducks in a Row" as if we're setting up the expectation of more groups of things on a logs.
Dear Liza (2017)
This is a cast bronze portrait. The title is from the song “There’s a Hole in the Bucket”.
"There's a Hole in My Bucket" (or "...in the Bucket") is a children's song, based on a dialogue between two characters, called Henry and Liza, about a leaky bucket. The song describes a deadlock situation: Henry has a leaky bucket, and Liza tells him to repair it. But to fix the leaky bucket, he needs straw. To cut the straw, he needs an axe. To sharpen the axe, he needs to wet the sharpening stone. To wet the stone, he needs water. However, when Henry asks how to get the water, Liza's answer is "in a bucket". It is implied that only the leaky bucket is available, which, if it could carry water, would need no repairing in the first place. (Wikipedia)
Impossible Bottle (2017)
An impossible bottle is the name for any type of bottle with something seemingly impossible inside. Commonly this impossible object is a ship, but there are plenty of examples of other impossible bottles out there. While researching the “trick” to making an impossible bottle we discovered that for the most part, there is no trick. The craftsman puts pieces of the object into the bottle through the spout and then assembles the object inside the bottle with long tools and a hell of a lot of patience.
Clearly the ground, the foliage, and the deer are impossible objects within this bottle, but the most interesting to us is the dead mice. We bought this bottle at a garage sale and it contained two dead mice. One was a skeleton and one was more of a mummy. Clearly one died, the other one ate it to survive, and then it died as well. The mice are now impossible objects as they cannot be removed without being broken apart.
Ducks in a Row (2017)
This piece is based on the way ducks sleep in a row. The ducks on the outside only shut one eye and allow half of their brain to sleep. The eye facing out stays open and keeps watch for predators while the other eye (and other ducks) sleep. These ducks spin slowly like they are being used to keep guard or detect something. Perhaps they’re trying to communicate like a satellite or beacon. Let’s also not forget they are crafted pillows that have been adjusted. The original objects belong in your grandmother’s house, on the couch, maybe keeping an eye on whatever’s going on.
Ducks in a Row
This is the meeting of a number of formal elements and basic materials (Truth / beauty). Actually maybe that's a good title: "truth and beauty". It's inspired by this idea we've been thinking of where the style of 60’s sci-fi meets the style of Dan's Great Aunt Maddie’s house. This particular piece seems to lean more towards 60’s sci-if as it looks like a robot with a "high tech" human appendage sticking out of, where else, the top of its "head". Every element is functional (wheels it moves on, vent to access the inside, ratchet strap to hold the arm in place) but none operate in the science fiction way they are supposed to. Largely this is a piece of furniture, a prop, a hollow object with the hints of personality. And we want so badly for this robot to be Johnny-5 or Wall-E that when we move it and the arm moves side to side, for a moment we are fooled into thinking it is waving at us, fully operational.
Tatt Ooos (2017)
Coded language that plays by certain rules is presented forcefully to the audience as if important but upon inspection, is revealed to be mostly nonsensical. Knuckle tattoos are a trusted source because no one would tattoo their knuckles with something they don't believe in. On the other hand, not everyone is willing to or interested in getting knuckle tattoos, so it's a certain segment of the population. Watch the series progress and a pattern seems to appear, then a random combination throws the whole thing off. It's a fruitless search. Alternatively you can passively experience the words punching you in the peripheral and you're affected by the idea that someone is trying to tell you something important, but you know it isn’t true. This piece is about trust. Also it's about the current political climate as we have a president who tweets (see sentence one of this paragraph).
Box of Male Vulnerability (2017)
This is an experiment in believability and realism. The ass is cast and painted semi-realistically. It's upsetting or off-putting. But it's restrained and humorous. It's not aggressively gross, but in fact very vulnerable. The box makes it precious and contained. The glass front seals it in and provides a layer of obscuring so the unreal qualities can't be as easily detected. Is it serious? Is it a fuck you? A harmless joke? A portrait?
Ships in Bottles Atop Precarious End Tables (2017)
The dark wood stain and high gloss finish are meant to indicate a solid, sturdy construction, perhaps from a certain time period. They are not hip but forever in existence. They are the dark, uncool, old furniture that fills the goodwill. And fittingly, that's where they are from. Instead of turning these pieces out of wood, they are a Frankenstein of other pieces chosen for their seeming artistry (though mostly mass produced), and glued together to mimic that artistry while subverting it by poorly crafting "finely crafted" pieces out of other poorly crafted "finely crafted" pieces. The ships in bottles are similarly poorly crafted, mass produced, souvenir versions of finely crafted objects. Put atop these pedestals they are expecting a certain amount of reverence and balancing precariously provides the potential to fall and break, highlighting the fragility of the objects and perhaps forcing the viewer to overvalue the ships by instigating the thought "I hope they don't fall!". Why? Who cares if they fall?
Additionally, the themes and content hidden in the choice of objects shouldn't be glossed over. These are little souvenir fantasies that are perched precariously. They are in danger. These are ships atop eroded pillars. Is this all about instability, global warming, hope being out of reach?
Snake Eyes (Self Portrait) (2017)
This mostly looks like a sculpture composed of found objects but we'll note that there are modifications made to the snake such as a metal armature and sand for weight and form. It's a simple representation of the completely unnaturally emerging from the natural. It's a shedding of skin and what was inside all along is the cartoon, the stuffed animal, the fake, the joke. What does that mean?
Hunting / A Walk in the Woods (2016)
This video shows a line of armed men walking through the woods, flushing out their target. Clearly a civilian group with their hunting rifles, motive is not evident. What becomes clear is that this is an unending loop. The hunters are perpetually walking forward, guns drawn. The anticipation is never resolved. The action is inevitable although the climax is unknown.
Hunting / A Walk in the Woods
This is a collection of scenes from movies in which people are falling through space. The clips are edited together to seamlessly transition from one individual to the next. The figure remains in the center of the screen while the backgrounds fly past allowing for the focus of our attention to go from falling to floating. It is unclear what or who is in control but the viewer is invited to let go of expectation and trust in the suspension.
Token Totem (2016)
We created four massive inflatable North American animal busts emerging from each side of a house at 339 Franklin St. SW slated to be razed for future development. The sculptures were part trophy, part Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade float, part compass rose and part oracle who stood as suggestions of something long gone and silent witnesses to current transformation, decimation and inevitable rebirth. The forms, inflated from within the house were viewable from the exterior. They appeared solid and milky white during the day but changed as night fell and they were lit from within. By day they were floats, and by night they were lanterns.
This piece was part of SiTE:LAB Rumsey St. Project in Grand Rapids, MI during Art Prize 2016. It earned a spot on the public vote top 10 list in the sculpture category.
Wading is a multi-part installation representing an indeterminate narrative. Plainly, the scene is of a man wading in reeds near a Jon boat. The viewer is left to ponder whether the man is looking for something he lost, dumping a body, or relieving himself. The forms stand with welded steel supports to resemble stage props or old signs, hearkening back to sound stages or community theater scene-shop paintings. The boat, the only truly 3-dimensional element, sits at a fictional water’s edge and beckons the viewer to enter by providing a seat from which to view the imagined scenario.
The Mob (2016)
The video is an animation of a crowd fleeing a theater (toward the camera) as a single character is trying to enter the theater against the flow of people (away from the camera). She never moves more than a foot or two and is eternally stuck in the same spot as the perpetual mob pushes against her. The piece is projected through an entryway onto a freestanding wall. This specific configuration allows the projected image to spill onto the entryway walls and create multiple planes through which the viewer can move. By moving through the space, the viewers mirror the characters of the video blurring the line between the characters and the viewers and engaging the audience by inviting them to be a part of the piece.
I Thought I'd Have That Tattoo Forever (2015)
This character is pulled from a drawing, entering the 3D world by stepping off the page. Of course, he is only 3/4" thick so his entry into the 3rd dimension is hesitant. By creating his arm separately we are able to engage the space between the two elements that make up the sculpture through positioning. His gaze at his arm bridges the chasm between the two elements. It offers a human reflection on the narrative suggested by the title. It's a joke, a punchline, but it's tragic.